Politicians sponsoring gang violence, say police

The Maldives Police Service (MPS) has claimed some politicians are using gangs to cause unrest, intimidate people and attack opponents.

Police said that last week’s violent political clashes between major political parties, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), were tied to gang violence.

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam confirmed that “police have learned some politicians have used gang members to create unrest.”

He said that while the MPS currently could not disclose the names of politicians linked to inciting gang violence, he assured that police “will take legal action against people suspected of being involved in recent violent demonstrations and attacks.”

Minivan News spoke to three gang members on 25 March, two of whom said although they were generally uninterested in politics, they had received financial support from politicians who would pay them for protection and to attack their opponents.

Better things to do

Shiyam added that because members of the special operation had been forced to concentrate on containing the political violence, there had been a corresponding spike in gang violence, burglary and street theft.

All of these had fallen when the special operations team began their work earlier this month, he said.

Shiyam said the special operation had returned to its work again in full force.

Last week, Deputy Commissioner of the MPS Mohamed Rishwan also said the recent political violence was hampering work and diverting resources from the special operation to curb gang-related crimes.

“As a consequence a large number of officers had to stop their work and interrupt their service to the people to go out to control and watch over political activities,” Rishwan said.

Press Secretary for the President’s Office Mohamed Zuhair said police acknowledgement of politically-motivated gang violence was “a very serious statement [by police].

He noted that members of the MDP have previously accused senior DRP-PA politicians of being connected to gangs, “but police saying it makes the matter more urgent and credible.”

During his opening speech to the Maldives Donor Conference 2010, President Mohamed Nasheed referred to the matter, stating: “I don’t care whether you are a gangster, or whether you are a senior politician controlling the gangsters – if you attack, or orchestrate attacks, this government will take appropriate legal action.”

Zuhair said he hoped police would forward the relevant cases to the Prosecutor General so that they could be resolved in the courts.

Spokesperson for the MDP, Ahmed Haleem said “violence was normal under the previous regime, and DRP are doing the same thing now.”

Haleem said the DRP was trying to harm the country by trying to “stop aid and funds” from international donors.

He said the MDP was “a bit concerned” about politicians being tied to gang violence, “because some DRP MPs are physically involved in violence.”

DRP Vice President and Spokesperson Ibrahim Shareef said the party performed “peaceful protests, not the inciting of violence”, and said police would be making statements “based on their opperational experience.”

“Many DRP meetings have been disrupted by MDP activists, who attack with stones and swords,” Shareef said, adding that shops and houses of DRP members had also been vandalised in the violence over the weekend.

“We are constantly receiving threatening calls from the MDP,” Shareef said, adding that “the ruling party should be more responsible and should not use the gangs.”

“There is a lot of gang violence connected to MDP, and I am worried that it is difficult to control our own activists because they have no protection.”

“If people see the ruling party is inciting violence,” Shareef warned, “the country will lose its peace.”


15 thoughts on “Politicians sponsoring gang violence, say police”

  1. I've head so many false accusations and lies from the government that I will not believe a word until the names of those involved in gang violence are revealed and the matter is adjudicated in court.

  2. I think we all know what is going on exactly... and yet fails to find a solution for this political gang violence ! why???

  3. sounds like 'we know everything about the 06 drug kingpins and we will arrest them as soon as the election is over'.

  4. It is good for the police to publicly state this. Politicians should be investigated without looking at which party they are from and people who are into this blame game should be ignored since they do not help solve anything. Also judges should be investigated for violating the rights of victims in getting justice by constantly allowing well known repeated criminals lose every time.

    Police needs to step in for the people since none of the MPs on any side has really come up with any realistic solutions to protect and bring justice to the growing victims.

  5. what about that girl gang raped by 15 men? i think in this country of just a mere 400k people, these are violent acts that the president himself should address to and push law enforcement to bringing them to justice...if president nasheed cannot stop this sort of criminal activities, we don't really care whether he fulfills his 5 promises or not.

    if a guy trips on the pavement near holiday inn and falls, hitting his head on the glass breaking it, the president would declare a state of emergency, no doubt. come on mr president. we were not a material society, don't make it one. people's lives should be above everything else. including alcohol.

  6. of cause politicians sponsoring gang violence!so what is super new news?every body know that not even only gungs but drugs trafic business and prostitutions busines too under many politicians cover.question is how to stop this bloody hell.but unfortunately all say only blablabla about how democratic we are.or do you think that corrupted politicians will say sorry to your drugs addict childrens?never! they will try to sell much as posssible drugs to make more childrens addicted because for those politicianse your childrens is only gun beef and part of dirty business...and nothing else.

  7. both parties have links with gangs and have used them in the past. that is why there have never been any arrests or formal investigations and lack of action.

  8. better dissolve the political parties n make the present president as a king ..

  9. Sorry state of the affairs of the country unfortunately. Yet these very MPs will be elected again and again. They have money. People are desperate enough to accept bribes. This gets these MPs elected and in turn keeps the money rolling for them. And again they will use this very money to bribe the desperate electorate and get elected. Where can we really break this cycle. I'm depressed... Democracy really is for those who can afford it, not for the poor soceities where votes are for sale in bulk at cheap prices. I sure hope I'm wrong but it appears I'm not.

  10. sounds like a very scary state of affairs in the paradise islands. what kind of government do you have? if the president can sleep peacefully every night while his people are too scared to bat an eyelid, then you are living in a hellhole rather than in paradise.

  11. does somebody care? anybody! why the false promises? this is agony... the pain, the injustice of daily life... the fear... the anger... it is the most barren, loveless, souless existance, does anybody care!!! it is like we are living the life decribed in a Mettalica song... can't you politicians feel the frustration and DO SOMETHING!! Is it any wonder that people in desparation are turning to Islamic extremism as a counter force to the seeming inability, the seeming helplessness of the powers that be reel in the gangsterism, the violence, the corruption...

  12. No Human being(s) could solve what has been triggered in Maldives. Tik Tok Tok..ticking mental time bombs we were and are...from the Top most politicians to the druggy (the entire population ) is infected by MASS PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDER.. Only a Godly power could bring the change we "wish for" and it's the armed forces who could and Must and probably Will beat the Crap out of ANY SORT OF MISCHIEF MAKERS... Hands down


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